After winning two of three games on its latest road trip, the women’s soccer team returned home Friday in hopes of continuing its winning ways, but lost to Cal Poly Pomona Broncos 1-0 in overtime.
Despite being outplayed for the first 15 minutes of the game, the Gators managed to take control of the match by playing aggressive, which won the Gators every 50/50 ball in the first half.
The defense once again played a tough first half, allowing the Broncos to only six shots on goal.
Defender Laura Shea’s determination kept the Broncos from scoring in the first half as she ran 35 yards down the field to slide into Bronco midfielder Daisy Duran’s path, which kept her from scoring on a fast break.
Both teams were tied-up going into halftime. However, the second half was another game in itself as the Broncos dominated possession of the ball.
Cal Poly Pomona’s defense matched the Gators’ intensity, as it kept SF State’s speedy forward Autumn Fox blanketed with defenders throughout the first half, and couldn’t muster a single shot on goal.
“Teams definitely look at the stats of other players,” said Fox. “I think it was after my game in Fresno where I scored a couple goals and got an assist. It was after that game where everything changed. I’ve been able to adjust to it because now I know. That’s when it comes down to me having to psychologically be like ‘alright, they’re going to man-mark me, but I know that I can still get around them.'”
The aggressive side from Pomona came out at halftime, attacking the midfield and winning the time of possession battle. With the tables turned, SF State’s defense allowed 15 shots on goal in the second half, while the Gators had eight throughout the whole match.
“Today we did not match well enough and win the individual battles all over the field,” said head coach Jack Hyde. “For example, their midfield outplayed our midfield. They won the individual battles by winning the ball more than we did. The first half we hung in with them, but the second half they did a much better job.”
Support for the Broncos was evident during overtime, as half of the people in attendance chanted “we believe that we will win,” a slogan that was used in support of the US National team during the FIFA Brazil 2014 World Cup.
The winning goal came during overtime as defender Megan Kisslan passed a perfect ball to midfielder Ali Sauve, who shot an unstoppable bullet from 10 yards out of the box to the right-hand corner of the goal.
“They won all the battles today (Cal Poly Pomona),” Hyde said. “All the shots on goal, all of the corner kicks, everything. In the midfield group we got to match it up. We substituted but it still didn’t work, we still didn’t dominate that center part of the field.”
Friday’s overtime loss marks the third overtime loss of the season for the Gators, and the fifth loss against a CCAA team.